"Sticky Edge" is neither obvious nor explained

Bug #965080 reported by Matthew Paul Thomas
This bug affects 23 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity-control-center (Ubuntu)
Matthew Paul Thomas

Bug Description

gnome-control-center 1:3.3.92-0ubuntu4, Ubuntu Pangolin

The "Displays" panel includes a "Sticky Edge" switch.

If "Sticky Edge" was a well-known term amongst people who use computer displays (like "Sticky Keys" is for disabled people, for example), this might make sense. But it isn't, and doesn't.

Unfortunately I can't suggest a replacement, because I don't know what "Sticky Edge" does either.

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Stewart Wilson (stewartw)
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Achim Behrens (k1l) wrote :

It is the stopping at the edge betweeen the monitors.

take a look into the description of this bug or into the posted video: https://bugs.launchpad.net/unity-2d/+bug/946104

Revision history for this message
Adolfo Jayme Barrientos (fitojb) wrote :

A replacement would be a checkbox like:

 [x] Avoid my mouse cursor to be accidentally lost in another display

But I'm afraid that it's rather long, and anyway this setting is too "advanced" to be shown in the place where it is. And note that I don't fully understand the purpose of the "Sticky Edges" and what problem is solving, so take the above checkbox only as an idea of a self-explaining setting.

Revision history for this message
Benjamin J Norton (leomcsnarf) wrote :

I had to look up what "sticky edges" means. I consider myself proficient with computers and Linux distrobutions but this term totally had me at a loss...

John Lea (johnlea)
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Changed in ayatana-design:
status: New → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
John Lea (johnlea) wrote :

Marking as opinion until this opinion is validated or disproved in user testing.

Changed in ayatana-design:
status: Incomplete → Opinion
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Opinion
Revision history for this message
Simon Feltman (s-feltman) wrote :

This option was turned on by default after a recent update. I thought it was a bug and it was driving me crazy, I'm used to smoothly dragging windows between dual monitors. After looking around, I finally found the "Sticky Edges" setting in display settings and turned it off.

Revision history for this message
w-sky (w-sky) wrote :

I too find the term "Sticky Edges" inapprehensible. Also I wonder why this option is not greyed out in a single display setup, since it affects only multi display setups.

May I suggest: "Make mouse stick to display edges".

Intuitionally I did expect the "Sticky edges" switch to control if windows should stick to screen edges and/or automatically resize when moving them. But a switch for that function is completely missing, is it?

Also at this point I expected and I consider to be necessary the following: a switch to enable and disable moving windows to other workspaces with the mouse. Using Unity, currently windows can only freely be moved around workspaces using the mouse when the workspace switcher has been activated. Also, a switch to allow mouse movements to other workspaces would be cool.

I do mention this here because this is somehow the same as or related to sticky edges, but for workspaces.

Revision history for this message
Hans Harhoff Andersen (hansharhoff) wrote :

At the very least it should have a tooltip with an explanation or there should be a help button for displays.

Revision history for this message
Tamas Papp (tompos) wrote :


I disabled now, so I can move my cursor between monitors easily, but it still stops sometimes.

What is the right way for moving mouse cursor between displays? Make it fast?:) Really, I cannot find a proper and/or official description.

Revision history for this message
Diego Torres Milano (diego-pxes) wrote :

And it's not even along all edges...

Revision history for this message
Cody Skinner (wskinner) wrote :

I know this "bug" is years old at this point, but I'd like to make a suggestion. In the display options in the System Settings GUI, could we add a mouse over tool tip to the Sticky Edge option? So that when a user holds their cursor over the option, it'll display a tooltip saying "When using multiple displays, stop the cursor at the edge."

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

A tooltip is harder to see than always-visible UI text. Therefore, a tooltip should be used only when there isn’t enough space to convey the information otherwise. That’s why System Settings hardly ever uses tooltips: because there *is* enough space to convey the needed information without them.

Even if that wasn’t true, the fact that System Settings hardly ever uses tooltips means that for any particular element in System Settings, people would not expect it to have a tooltip. If people aren’t expecting it to exist, they won’t put in the effort to reveal it, so it isn’t an effective way of conveying information.

Anyway, I’m now responsible for the design of System Settings, so I finally get to fix this.

affects: gnome-control-center (Ubuntu) → unity-control-center (Ubuntu)
Changed in unity-control-center (Ubuntu):
assignee: Stewart Wilson (stewartw) → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
status: Opinion → Confirmed
no longer affects: ayatana-design
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